Economists predict that the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.1% in the first three months of the year — faster the than the 4.3% recorded at the end of 2020
, but far slower than the enormous 33.4% jump
in the second quarter of 2020 when the economy started to reopen.
An “annualized” rate is not the same as measuring one quarter to the next; annualizing assumes a quarterly rate would continue for a full year. Economists typically use the annualized rate for US GDP because it makes it easier to compare numbers over different periods of time.
Before the pandemic hit
, US gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, grew on average some 2.5% per quarter on an annualized basis. During the pandemic, the economy ground to a halt, and GDP contracted
at a record pace.